The Storms

I just finished reading the book of Job and do you know what really stuck out to me? That Job didn’t do anything wrong and yet he was still going through a really tough time. Plus his “support group” as in the people closest to him… Yikes. It’s scary reading how they responded. Do you know what his wife told him? “Curse God and die!” Um. That, folks is not good advice.
And then his friends, if that’s what you call them, do you know what they said? Basically: “Dude! You’ve obviously committed some secret sin so stop hiding it and denying it. All these trials you are going through are your just punishment so suck it up and bare it.” 
Do you know what God did then? He spoke to Job out of a whirlwind and told of His mighty power and wisdom and vast creation, then He told one of Job’s friends, “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends, because you have not spoken of Me what is right as My servant Job has.” (42:7) Then God had Job sacrifice a burnt offering for his friends and pray for them so that God would not “do with them according to their folly.” 

This reminds me of one of my favorite sermons. At the end of Mark four, Jesus says to his friends, “Let us go over to the other side” (talking about the sea). So they pile into a boat and as they were crossing a huge storm blew up and they were about to sink. Meanwhile Jesus was asleep so they woke Him up, terrified that they were about to die.

Do you know how Jesus responds? “He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Hush, be still.'” And the wind obeyed.

What is especially meaningful about this account to me, though, is the fact that the disciples were going through a tough time, a life-storm, you could say, and yet they were obeying. They didn’t decide to cross the sea on their own. They didn’t climb into the boat for fun. No, Jesus is the one who said they should.

I think far too often when we are going through a storm in life we automatically assume that we are being disciplined for something. We think that God is angry with us. We feel condemned and forgotten.

Yet that’s not necessarily the truth of the matter. There is a whole realm that we can’t see. We don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes.

For Job God was allowing Satan to test him because God knew Job was righteous and that Job would continue to bring honor and glory to God no matter what he went through.

For the people on the boat with Jesus? I’m not exactly sure why the storm blew up, it was very possibly completely natural. Yet Jesus used that situation to show His power and to give the disciples and generations to come a lesson that can inspire hope all the way to today.

So next time you’re going through a storm, a rough patch, instead of freaking out because you think you’re being punished for something you didn’t do or that God has forgotten you, step back and take a look at the bigger picture. Remember that God sees everything, the past, the present and even the future. He’s outside of time. His plans are not our plans. Plus, remember: He loves you with an amazing love. 

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